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16 October 2007 | Printer friendly

School-based tobacco prevention programme

Organisation: The Paediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU), Murcia

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Doctors who stop smoking before it starts

Spain has one of the highest rates of tobacco prevalence in Europe. In Murcia and Valencia, well over a third of 14 to 18 year olds say they have smoked tobacco during the past month.

The Paediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) in Murcia and Valencia decided to try and reduce exposure to tobacco smoke by targeting the prevention of smoking initiation in schools. The project provides audiovisual materials on the tobacco epidemic, the harmful effects of smoking, and information on how to give up smoking. The project involves questionnaires and visits from parents to the San Jorge school in Murcia and the San Josť Jesuitas school in Valencia to ensure that the messages reach the students’ homes.

The programme has reached approximately 12,000 students and their parents. The intention is to see both reductions in exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and fewer children taking up smoking. The aim is also identify students who will work as advocates for tobacco free environments.

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